Anyone remember the Dragon Rapide?

The Historic Flight Foundation near Seattle, WA, have just acquired G-AHXW, a De Havilland DH.98A Dragon Rapide, that was owned for some years in the 1950s and 1960s by Fairey Aviation and then Fairey Surveys.  They would like to hear about what sort of work it was doing, or any really interesting projects it may have been part of.

The museum has sent a couple of photographs of when the aeroplane arrived there on 31st March 2017, which are shown below.  A trawl through the internet also found a photograph of G-AHXW in Fairey Surveys livery at White Waltham in 1965 on the website Air Photographic International (https://www.airphotographicinternational.com), which has hundreds of great photographs of old aircraft for sale, all identified with type, registration, location and date.  Chris Knott, the owner of the website, has very generously allowed us to publish the photograph here.

If you have any information you would like to share, please reply, below, or send an email to admin@faireysurveys.co.uk, and we’ll pass on your details to the museum, or contact them direct at: imperfectsense@gmail.com

 

Fairey Surveys aircraft stories

The website has been contacted by Bruce Hales-Dutton, who has been asked by the monthly magazine ‘Aeroplane’ to write an article about Fairey Surveys.  The idea is to write about the aircraft, particularly the DC-3s, and to use the memories and stories of the Fairey Surveys staff who were involved with them, in whatever capacity.

Mr Hales-Dutton is a freelance aviation writer and journalist, whose name appears on at least one published aircraft book, about the Comet.

If you would like to send in a story to be used, or would like to talk to Mr Hales-Dutton, please leave a reply below, or send an email to admin@faireysurveys.co.uk and we’ll pass on your details to him.

There are a few stories already on the website, but there must be many more.  Rob Wallace remembers a search through the huge Enugu market in Nigeria for a special 5 foot long Pratt and Whitney spanner to change the engine on a DC-3.  Astonishingly, the search was successful, and the engine was changed, but the process, with much arm-waving and sign language, was pure entertainment.

Please let us know if you have any stories you would like to share.

From Ian Smith

These photographs came from Ian Smith, but we have no information on date or place.  We would love to know where the Hotel Du Parc is (or was)!

Ian Smith 10 Ian Smith 09 Ian Smith 08 Ian Smith 07 Ian Smith 06 Ian Smith 05

These two look like a pair, from the paper, size and age.  And the third and fourth from the left on the top row of the left hand picture are surely the same two facing forward in the foreground of the right hand picture.  Was it a conference?

These two look like a pair, from the paper, size and age. And the third and fourth from the left on the top row of the left hand picture are surely the same two facing forward in the foreground of the right hand picture. Was it a conference?

This is half the story of an unfortunate incident with an Avro Anson.  No date or location given

This is half the story of an unfortunate incident with an Avro Anson. No date or location given

This is the second half of the story of the Avro Anson that landed badly in the desert, with a single camel to take the strain.  No date or loction again, but it doesn't look as if it's very warm.  Perhaps the clothes of the locals might give someone a clue to where it is?

This is the second half of the story of the Avro Anson that landed badly in the desert, with a single camel to take the strain. No date or loction again, but it doesn’t look as if it’s very warm. Perhaps the clothes of the locals might give someone a clue to where it is?

 

These seem to be a pair, with the same mountains in the background.  Morocco?  Libya?

These seem to be a pair, with the same mountains in the background. Morocco? Libya?

These look like a set, all stamped February 1960 on the back (Kodak processing date).  Perhaps the barman is a clue to the location?  Or the flowers?

These look like a set, all stamped February 1960 on the back (Kodak processing date). Perhaps the barman is a clue to the location? Or the flowers?

Ian Smith 11

 

New role for Charlie Alpha

Message received from Elain Amos dated 3rd March 2013:

Greetings from Lelystad – here for 2 months to do low level photo of parts of NW Netherlands. In the aviation museum at the airport found a photo of their (orange) DC3 which was originally G-AMCA. It’s not here, currently starring in a musical of the \’Solider of Orange\’ at the ex Valkenburg Air Force Base

DC3 PHALR ex-GAMCA

DC3 PHALR ex-GAMCA

Here it is pictured at Lelystad.

Museum of Berkshire Aviation, Woodley

This is a bit of advertising from Ken Fostekew, about the Museum of Berkshire Aviation in Woodley, which has a whole display case (pictured) dedicated to Fairey Surveys.  The museum is amazing, and has a couple of reconstructed Fairey Aircraft amongst many others.

Museum of Berkshire Aviation - FSL display case

Museum of Berkshire Aviation – FSL display case

The address is:  Mohawk Way (off the Bader Way), Woodley, Nr. Reading, Berkshire, RG5 4UE, and the website is:  www.museumofberkshireaviation.co.uk

There’s also a YouTube video showing the museum and many of its displays

“http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yztF21Mzcic” (take out the inverted commas when you paste this into your browser).  If we leave them off, the whole video gets inserted into the post.

 

 

Survey pilots

Geoff Milsom, former Chief Pilot, has drawn up a list of pilots who worked for Fairey Air Surveys, Fairey Surveys and Clyde Surveys during his time.

This list is not necessarily comprehensive.  Any omissions or corrections would be gratefully received, along with any other information on the pilots themselves.  For example: Desmond Plunkett was one of the wartime RAF officers portrayed in the film ‘Great Escape’ (see article under ‘Personnel’), and Paul Heimes flew Spitfires in the Battle of Britain.

The list is attached:

Faireys Surveys pilots